Monday, December 5, 2011

Magpie #94 The Automat

The Automat

Lunch, George Tooker, 1964, Columbus Museum of Art
The Automat could
not sandwich any more balogna-eaters
or squeeze any more orange juice
or layer any more layer cake
some were stuck
on their coffee cups
a thick broth of atmosphere
drifted ever endlessly
impatient as
the missing waiter
who would serve crackers
beef barley
soup d'jour
all day
who gave these
denizens dessert
the unknown lunch crowd
hushed munching
sliced bread
found a modicum
of homespun
comfort food
in the jackpot slats
heavy breathing
fogged the pate froi gras
narrowing the back-of-the-box
to stagnant foggy clamminess
boule-base atmosphere
tossed salad
juliened and sliced the afternoon light
cut like butter
fingers honed in on
the active part of eating
dispersed light
split slant-like shafts
condensed sauce
creamy dreamy
milkshake silky
muted green pea-sized
pixelized points of edibleness
made by Tooker
own paint-by-number
restaurantaur par none
a close interconnected system
consistent dull routine
potato mash-to-mush
over-cooked by under-cooks
sounds of clanking cutlery
varied values of red greens
as hush puppy sunshine
on top hierarchial angels
downy sleepy heads
partially aware of others
a mini-
lunch break in organized unison
for this Automaton
in the Art Museum by
The Factory
all these auto-sonomic-automatons
Vachon half-moon
identical faces
bow in supplication
by the feeding bowl
to the cafeteria gods
On 34th Street
Welcome to the Automat! Please join the luncheon crew here:
Thank-you Tess Kincaid of Magpie Tales for this amazing piece of art by famous artist Tooker (why does this picture look so familiar?)


  1. Incredibly vivid imagery. A delicious read!

  2. broth of atmosphere and milkshake silky are some fav lines...nicely done...

  3. The Automat- reminds me of those nasty hospital vending machines. I ate a sandwich from one of those once, and promptly fell ill for 24 hours- have never eaten out of one since. Nice take on the prompt!

  4. This is stellar! You have immense talent ...

  5. Oh, I would love to see this done at a poetry slam. It's fantastic.

    I always wanted to go to one of those Automats. They really look cool.

  6. lunch break in organized unison?

    Exactly! Enough to make anybody groan. eh? LOL

  7. Fine fare - fabulous poem, Jane
    best wishes Isabel

  8. I don't think I'd like to eat in the cafe as described here by you.

  9. yes it was really quite Mundane at Mundane's! Thank-you for all your lovely comments! chiccoreal